Why Germany has to give the World Cup trophy back


Bastian Schweinsteiger smooches the trophy. (Andreas Gebert / EPA)

Some champions are lucky enough to be able to drink or eat from their trophies, but pity the poor Germans. They don’t even get to keep the World Cup trophy they won Sunday.

Instead, they’ll receive a replica — a nice replica — of the Cup, one of the most iconic trophies in sports. The 75-percent pure, 18-karat trophy they hoisted and hugged and kissed and manhandled will be safely locked away, just as it has been since 1974. Why not entrust the winner of the tournament with the trophy for four years? It’s simple, Yahoo’s Graham Watson writes. Thieves want it almost as much as soccer players do because its estimated value four years ago was north of $10 million, according to gold buyer Cash4Gold. FIFA.com tells its story:

The Jules Rimet Cup had an eventful history, beginning with a tenure hidden in a box under a bed during World War II. It was stolen in 1966 while on display in England. With the help of a small dog named Pickles, the famed English detectives of Scotland Yard were able to retrieve the Trophy which was hidden in a suburban garden.

At that time, FIFA regulations stated that any nation winning the FIFA World Cup three times would become permanent owners of the Trophy. Brazil did just that, taking home the Trophy in 1970 only to have tragedy follow. In 1983, the Trophy was again stolen in Rio de Janeiro, never to be seen again. It is widely believed that it was melted down by thieves.

In the early 1970s, FIFA commissioned a new Trophy for the tenth FIFA World Cup, which was to take place in 1974. Fifty-three designs were submitted to FIFA by experts from seven countries, with the final choice being the work of Italian artist Silvio Gazzaniga.

Gazzaniga described his creation thus: “The lines spring out from the base, rising in spirals, stretching out to receive the world. From the remarkable dynamic tensions of the compact body of the sculpture rise the figures of two athletes at the stirring moment of victory.”

Not that German players had much time to appreciate all that.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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